Saturday, August 18, 2007
So within those boundaries the Aer Lingus management have been consistent with what one would expect a public company. Those boundaries of course were set by the previous owners who in the unique environment of a privatisation had a chance to lay down some markers to shape the company's business into the future and indeed by retaining a significant share holding suggested, publicly at least, that they would continue to be active shareholders. Much along the lines of ethical shareholding whereby people use their portfolio to patronise certain types of business over others. The term "Golden Share" was pointedly used by the government over the course of the company being floated. I'm not sure for whom this share is now Golden, it sure ain''t the customers in the West and Mid-West, unless we're to look to the world of adult entertainment for inspiration.
Fact is that it isn't the decision that Aer Lingus has made that should be the focus of people's ire but instead the manner of the privatisation of the airline along with the Heathrow slots which has placed Aer Lingus in this situation. Yet, who has been asking the hard questions along those lines?
We're had RTe favouring the local FF apparatus in terms of coverage, yet never asking them what they personally had proposed or contributed during the Dail debates on the privatisation of the airline to ensure that the management couldn't make this type of decision. We've had no legal opinion produced by the government that demonstrates why some means to retain control of the Heathrow slots in the state's hands while floating the rest of the company.
The people of the Mid-West voted for FF in overwhelming numbers despite no significant inward investment into the region over the past number of years. And why are they treated so poorly you might wonder? Basically my view is if you continuously turn the other cheek you end up black and blue. I hate to use the analogy as it may suggest to some that I'm making light of a very serious social issue but much of the Irish electoral population behaves like an abused spouse, making excuses for why they are mistreated, continually turning blind eye to every indiscretion and persisting with a steadfast belief in every half arsed reason for why it happened this time and how next time will be different, and accepting that the other lot would be worse. Or so they are told.
As Fintan O'Toole has pointed out people get what they vote for; the fact that they don't bother to pay that much attention isn't really the politicians fault. In a democracy it is the voters who are ultimately the ones pulling the strings.
It isn't that people are thick just that they think they have more money than sense. What's the betting that we see an ex-FFer running as an independent in the Mid-West come the next general election on a platform of returning Aer Lingus to Shannon and the neglect of the region? And that we'll see the promise of one route into Heathrow in time for the 2009 locals.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Mary Hanafin, minister for Education, wants to split maths! into business maths and science maths (the suggestion that we might have two Irish exams for the leaving has previously left the minister aghast at the concept).
Quoting from the article “The Minister said there are students who are very good at science and students who are very good at business. “Why do they both have to do the same maths paper when you can have a little twist on it that can make it more accessible?” ”Yep that’s the answer to all our problems because 2+2 doesn’t necessary add up to 4 in the business world. Indeed it could be special type of maths where you can get a formula where £30,000 could really be $45,000, or Ir£28,000 4 shillings and sixpence or whatever the lodgement was.
There is a serious problem in Ireland with the teaching of maths and science but this approach is all about indulging a mindset that say "hard" Maths for weirdos not normal people who get to get sexy jobs and get rich. What next - maths for girls?
Or perhaps we will split Art at Leaving Cert into Art and Art for the tasteless.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This is what Minister Cullen (sure don't we miss him now!) had to say in 2005 about ensuring Irish consumers would have access to Heathrow post the government reducing its stake. So what were the options explored and why were they not proceeded with? Was someone misled here was it the minister or the public?
In the new situation if you fly with RyanAir you will have to wait around and collect you luggage before moving off to the next Terminal but in this case you will be crossing London instead of justr crossing an airport with 3 train journeys from Stansted into Liverpool St, then the tube then the train from Paddington out to Heathrow. None of those changes is for the faint-hearted. I guess Dempsey is so used to have someone else carry his luggage for him that he doesn't remember what travel is like for the little people. And how long would you need to allow for you to cross from Gatwick/Stansted to Heathrow 3 hours allowance wouldn't be crazy (2 hours would be cutting it very fine indeed) and remember you have to be at the check-in desk 2 hours before departure as unlike the existing model you aren't already checked through. So you would be presenting yourself at the gate 7 hours after you left the door of house. Some time difference there I'm sure you will agree.